This year’s hurricane season, which runs from June 1st through November 30th, is here. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), forecasters predict “near-normal hurricane activity” in the Atlantic this year, with a range of 12-17 named storms, 5-9 that could become hurricanes, and 1-4 major hurricanes. Due to this forecast and the potential risk of flood damage, agents and brokers need to make sure that their clients are prepared, especially those in the possession of fine art collections. Having a plan in place can make the difference between a successful outcome and a catastrophic loss following a powerful storm.
Here’s what you need to know to best prepare your collection for hurricanes in 2023.
1. Stay aware of potential storms/disasters. Don’t be caught off-guard when a storm hits. Stay informed – pay attention to emergency information and alerts.
2. Have an emergency response plan in place. Evacuation and removal plans for all portable items should be established. Clear paths of entry should be noted for all large risks in areas with coastal flooding. Insureds in flood zones should move fine art and collectibles to higher elevations to avoid sudden water surge.
3. Have a potential off-site storage facility ready. Make sure to have a contract in-place with a high-security storage facility in case art pieces need to be relocated.
4. Reach out to TMH with any questions or if a piece becomes damaged. Communication is important – reach out to your agent or broker as soon as possible if an issue arises. Damage from water and mold can usually be fixed if addressed early.
More tips for clients include:
- Update your inventory – which should include the artist, title, dimensions, condition, image, and location.
- Identify priority items for evacuation and relocation.
- Move items away from windows and exterior doors.
- Relocate items to interior rooms.
- Don’t store artwork on the floor; everything should be elevated by at least 5”.
- Never store artwork in the basement.
- Have packing materials and supplies accessible.
- Designate a family member or trusted neighbor to periodically check on the collection if you are not able to.
- Make sure that all emergency contact information is up to date – including fine art broker, art handlers, and storage facilities.
Tokio Marine Highland offers insurance coverage for physical loss and damage risks in the fine art and collectibles market segment. Led by experienced underwriters and claims handlers with deep expertise in the fine art market, our tailored insurance solutions are backed by the financial strength and global resources of Tokio Marine, one of the largest insurance groups in the world and rated A+ by Standard & Poor’s. To learn more about our comprehensive fine art insurance offerings or to have us quote your potential risks, contact us at www.tokiomarinehighland.com.